hol(e)y quilts

hol(e)y quilts

The topic of all our conversations seems to be the future.
When we all come together,
we laugh and pray and talk about any number of things
but we are not fooled.
Whether we say the words or not,
we are talking about tomorrow.
We are talking about all the days we will have together
and all the days we will not.
With our specific loves for one another,
we secretly grieve a parting,
one we cannot predict
but are sure will happen.
And maybe we are not sad;
maybe we can grieve without tears.
Maybe we are ready for whatever life our tomorrows hold.
Our strange family,
meshed together out of mutual friends
and shared interests
and some desperate need for people to call our own –
maybe this strange family has prepared us for unknown worlds.
If we found each other once,
we can find each other again.
Maybe next time,
we’ll be different people.
Or maybe we’ll be the same.
Who can say?

Some night,
we will let our conversation twist and turn it’s way to next year
and ten years
later.
With my feet on his knees and her back on his shins and his hand curled over her’s and all the others –
maybe, without words, we will understand the meaning of tomorrow.
We will wonder on love.
We will wonder how many small ones the years will bring.
We will wonder if our us will remain even if some of our pieces melt away.
Time may bring new people to our shores,
haggard and in need of a door to walk through.
Perhaps another will take our place at the table.
Perhaps we will find another table,
and take the place of someone else.

We are not stagnant people.
In our laughter and our conversations,
we have always known that.
We have only found ourselves woven into a swatch of fabric that was already part of a quilt.
So when the proverbial seam ripper tears us away,
we must understand that the future does not mean to harm us,
but to carry us.
These nights,
these days,
will always remain stitched together at the edges,
though holes dot the middle.
Let us take heart –
some of us can sew patches.

In the quiet spaces between dinner and a movie,
in the ruckus of people and the energy of youth-on-the-cusp,
we will hear the faint beating of the one heart within our one chest.
(And as it’s been said)
Come hell or high water,
the one faint whisper that remains:
Who will I be?
The one faint whisper that knits us into this patchwork of people who found ourselves remaining:
Who will I be? Who will I be?

Who will we be?

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Requited.

I think we are all really good at coming up with reasons as to why we are unlovable.

I’m mean.  I get angry.  I’m too emotional.  I come with baggage.  I am not good enough.  I am not smart enough.  I am confusing.  I don’t understand why I do things sometimes.  I don’t love God the way I should.  I’m no good at relationships.  I am not really even that fun.  I just can’t be what someone would want me to be.

We don’t think we deserve it.  We don’t think we’re worth the investment.  I’m not (just) talking about romantic love; in general, we are quick to block the love of friends and family and the Lord.  So self-deprecating.  So convinced that we are the most broken person.

Not tonight.  Not anymore.

Because I am loved.  And you are too, and I will bet my (nonexistent) money on it.  Every (nonexistent) penny.  So loved by a God who does not make mistakes, a God who cannot abide in anything but love because all He is is Love.  And by some beautiful divine design, when He created humans, His Love-soaked hands permeated our pores with drops of our own love to give away.  That love that we all think we are unworthy of is the same love that we shower on our sisters and our brothers and our parents and our children and our friends and our spouses and our boyfriends and our girlfriends… Everything we think we can’t have we already give to others who think they shouldn’t have it.  And they give it back to us.

Because we are flawed creatures.  So backwards in our thinking and our loving.  But there is a remnant of the divine in our hearts, and it is that remnant that whispers to us –

Sink.  Sink into this love.  Let this love be a part of you.

And all the while we are loving other flawed people, all hearing the very same whisper.  So maybe there is hope for us yet.

These last few days, I have been overwhelmed with this love.  The whisper has become a shout, one that I am all-too-prepared to give in to.  I have been itching to sink for a long time.  So I did.  And it is wonderful.  It is like this summer was meant to culminate in love, in me realizing how cherished I am and then just allowing myself to dwell in it.  I don’t get how people can see all the good in me when I am so apt to see all the messy, weird, broken-up, hollowed-out pieces.  And yet they do, because perhaps the good outweighs the hollow.  Perhaps the Lord crafted me into a better person than even I realized.

I look around me and I see so many bright, startling, beautiful souls.  People with hearts so big and minds so sharp and laughs so loud – people who seek to spend time with me, who sit and talk for hours with me, who love me.  And they are so quick to say so.  People I love, love me back.  People I love, love me as much as I love them.  I can’t believe that’s possible.  I can’t believe God has blessed me with reciprocated love.

My heart yearns to give away its love.  I want to care for people.  I want to exhaust whatever supply of love my Creator poured into me.  I am not-yet-whole, so I screw it up a lot.  I withhold compassion; I greedily cling to the love purposed for my neighbors and for strangers alike.  Even the tucked-away love, the love I want to give to a someday-husband, is sometimes too tangled in the roots of fear and confusion.  And yet somehow, by the grace of God, I am still able to love abundantly, even when I feel that I can barely love at all.

How is it that so many people who I love earnestly are also willing to love me in the same way?  Isn’t that what everyone searches for?  Requited love.  Friendship that means as much to you as it does to me.  Siblings who fight with ferocity but who would give up the world for one another.  Two souls sitting in a balance, straight across from one another – smiling.

I am exhausted with finding reasons why I shouldn’t be as cared for as I am.  Anything I come up with is untrue.  I have been bought at a price – blood of Love, pierced hands that once molded my own heart and imbued it with goodness.  I was claimed by God not because I did anything to be worthy of it, but because He looked at me and loved me.  And in His infinite mercy, He created others who would look at me and see the things He saw.  Parents and family and mentors and pastors and teachers and friends… He let me see them, too.  He let me love them, too.

I am so thankful.

Summer two thousand nine, in terms of explosion.

Hullo. Apologies for the ambiguity contained within many of my recent poems. Apparently this summer is turning out to be one of a lot of contemplation and thoughts and ideas (more than usual, perhaps). I’ll hopefully get something that isn’t a poem up soon. I mean, maybe. I should stop suggesting that I am or am not going to write certain things, huh? Tell you what: I will write something, eventually. That pretty much covers it. Okay; this one: The poem is done, but the thought process is a work in progress. Take what you get from it – I hope it’s something. Love you guys – well, as much as I can, with only knowing a few of you. :) Also, PS, this blog is about twenty hits away from 1000 views. That is absolutely ridiculous.

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I need room.
Not a big, open field
or an ocean rising and falling at my bidding,
but room.
Just space.
Maybe an empty movie theater.
Or the halls of the high school
ten minutes after the bell goes.
A place that isn’t too far from anyone else,
but a place that only has time and reason
for me.
Public seclusion.
I want to be alone until the silence becomes too big.
Until the weirdness of my soul
starts to swallow me up.
Then I need people.
Strangers and friends,
people to remind me of all the
faces I’ve made and all the stories I’ve
fumbled through.
Strangers to prove to me that I
purse my lips
and change my tone.
Friends to assure me that
they see through all that.
I need to be alone
until I need to be with.

Because sometimes it’s like I’m exploding.
Supernova-ing my way through existence,
burning out in a blaze of glory
that was too blinding to look straight at.
And I want to know that
there are going to be people there
who will cover their eyes
but hold on anyway.
Supernovas need space
and it is then that all eyes turn to them.
A devoted audience fixed on the
flaming speck in the black.

And we are silly.
We humans, devoted as we are to the heavens
and the mysteries housed there –
we watch through our telescopes
in dazzled fascination
as the explosions glow and glimmer
their way through the light years.
I once watched an star burn out
for an entire summer.
It was the brightest pinpoint in the sky
and I would stare at it,
all at once in awe
and in fear.
For if the fire of a star could disappear,
what was stopping the rest of us?
I remember finding out
that the star was long dead
and only now was its dying breath
reaching our eyes.
It was that far away.
I didn’t like finding out.

Humans are silly.
We stand in awe of things
that are dead.
We believe we are like
the dead things that awe us.
I am no supernova.
There is not a beautiful way
to compare the whirlwinds in me
to the fire of a star.
In the infinite universe,
I have only my space.
So give me less of it.
I need some room to burn.
But not light years of it.